Retooling the roadmap: Q&A with Venkataraman Prasannan of Radisys on the acquisition of Continuous Computing

1In anticipation of next-generation communications systems, Radisys took the plunge to acquire Continuous Computing over the summer. Venkataraman Prasannan of Radisys sheds some light on the direction of the company’s overall and ATCA roadmaps out to 100G in an exclusive Q&A with CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, & MicroTCA Systems magazine. Edited excerpts follow.

CPCI: Radisys and Continuous Computing both have ATCA blade product offerings. What’s the strategy to combine/compliment these offerings going forward? Will some boards be obsolete from one company and replaced with the offerings from the other?

PRASANNAN: Both Radisys and Continuous Computing were complementary in almost all respects with the exception of perhaps the 40G switch. We are continuing with both ATCA offerings – platforms, CPU, packet processing, etc. − with minimal to no impact to our combined customers. Regarding the next-generation 40G switch, one company’s solution was a super-set of the other’s, therefore we are continuing with it instead.

Our customers from both sides have asked us whether we will be leaning to one side or the other as far as our offerings. As we see it, if you are building a network element, you now have a very broad portfolio to choose from including boards, modules, chassis, and platforms. In addition, you now also have the “gold standard” of protocol stacks in Trillium to add to the portfolio.

CPCI: What’s the strategy on the ATCA blade roadmap going forward? Will there still be different development groups working on different blades? How will the coordination occur? What’s the guiding strategy for ATCA blade development going forward?

PRASANNAN: Going forward we will offer much richer, broader 10G and 40G platforms with the combined, expanded portfolio of chassis, CPU/packet processing blades, software, and carrier blade solutions. We will eventually synthesize applications and platforms toward 100G, which is at least two-to-three years in the future, but we feel that we now have a broad foundation to accommodate that goal.

The Radisys roadmap strategy for ATCA is to hone the portfolio toward next-generation applications such as , DPI, security, and broadband infrastructure.

CPCI: Higher level ATCA systems and solutions – will there be an organization (or organizations) within Radisys that will develop complete systems solutions?

PRASANNAN: Neither company has been in the business of complete systems in the past. However, with the acquisition of Continuous Computing, Radisys has become a leading supplier of infrastructure solutions and we are now able offer complete platforms, including applications through professional services. Our approach is to build application-ready platforms, which can be turnkey in some specific cases. The goal is to get our customers to market in 9, 12, 15, or 18 months as opposed to what could normally take as many as three-to-five years.

CPCI: Trillium is part of this acquisition. What will their role be going forward? Will they still sell general software products or will they be more geared toward internal software development to support the larger product solutions?

PRASANNAN: Trillium is an important part of the acquisition and will continue to be the industry’s gold standard in software stacks. Radisys offers its platforms, blades, and software stacks as standard products, but we now have the ability to offer our customers a full, turnkey solution through professional services. Trillium is a very integral part of providing this service since we already have 3G and 4G stacks in-house.

CPCI: Can you provide a broad-brush overview of the new product portfolio? How about what the portfolio is expected to be two-to-three years from now? Should we expect to still see a portfolio spanning the spectrum of I/O blade, processor blade, software, system, and product solutions, or will the lower level components be de-emphasized?

PRASANNAN: Thinking ahead, we are the industry leader in the platform solutions and protocol software space and we are planning to build on that. Two-to-three years from now we are looking to have 100G platforms with more application focus. We currently have various kinds of blades, various processor architectures, and now we have the software that enables us to generate a complete, comprehensive embedded solution that is “ready-made” so to speak. With all of these components combined, we are focused on continually reducing the time-to-market for our customers and continued success.

Venkataraman (VP) Prasannan is the General Manager of the Business Unit at Radisys and has more than 20 years of telecom and networking experience. VP has been involved in AdvancedTCA product planning and customer engagement since the inception of the industry standard, and holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Florida Institute of Technology and a business degree from the University of Oregon.


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